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Applied Aviation Sciences

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Ice clouds, crucial to the understanding of both short - and long - term climate trends, are poorly represented in global climate models (GCMs). Cirrus clouds, one of the largest uncertainties in the global radiation budget, have been inadequately studied at low latitudes. Parameterizations exist for mid - latitude and tropical cirrus ( Ivanova et al. 2001; McFarquhar et al. 1997). Due to climate sensitivity in the GCM with respect to cloud input, without robust parameterizations of cirrus clouds, the GCM is inaccurate over most output fields, including radiative forcing, temperature, albedo, and heat flux (Yao and Del Genio 1999).

Studies of the microphysical properties of tropical cirrus clouds may result in improved parameterizations for GCMs. Until ten years ago, there were no truly realistic cirrus clouds parameterizations for the different regions of the world in the global climate models (GCMs). A GCM requires information about ice particle diameter/maximum dimension (D), ice water content (IWC), and size distribution (SD) for small and large mode crystals .

This study uses the latest tropical Atmospheric Radiative Measurements (ARM) data to analyze the small and large crystals in cirrus clouds over Darwin, Australia.


Glendale Community College, Glendale, Arizona